Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Friends of the UMass Amherst Libraries Host Reception and Dinner

On Saturday, April 9, 2011, at 6:30 p.m., the Friends of the UMass Amherst Libraries will host the ninth annual “Dinner with Friends” in the Learning Commons at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library on the UMass Amherst campus. The event features talks by two notable speakers: Roy Blount, Jr. and Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, as well as a champagne and hors d’oeuvre reception with UMass Amherst student jazz musicians, and a gourmet dinner.

 Corporate sponsors of the 2011 “Dinner with Friends” to date include Amherst Books, Brattle Book Shop; EBSCO; Elsevier; Gale, a part of Cengage; Hampden Bank; Herman Miller/OFI; Marcus Printing; MicroTek, Inc.; Print Associates; Taylor Rental; UMass Catering; and Wiley-Blackwell. The evening is a key fundraising event for the UMass Amherst Libraries.

This year’s proceeds will benefit the W.E.B. Du Bois Center. For more information, visit:

 Tickets are $140 per person or $250 for two ($95 and $160 are tax-deductible donations respectively). Complimentary passes for the parking garage will be provided. Handicap parking is available next to the Library.

UMass Amherst Libraries are open to all residents of Massachusetts, offering a rich array of resources and services.

For more information and to make reservations contact Carol Connare at (413) 545-0995, email, or visit the Dinner with Friends web site Individual and corporate sponsorships are available starting at $250. For more information about the Libraries visit

Dinner with Friends, April 9, 2011 – Speakers’ bios:

Roy Blount, Jr. is a humorist, sportswriter, poet, performer, lecturer, dramatist, and writer. He is the author of 21 books, including Alphabet Juice (2009) and Hail, Hail, Euphoria!: Presenting the Marx Brothers in Duck Soup, the Greatest War Movie Ever Made (October 2010). Blount’s writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker, Playboy, Vanity Fair, GQ, Rolling Stone, and National Geographic. His work has also been anthologized in such collections as The Best of Modern Humor and many others. He is a panelist on NPR’s Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me and the president of the Authors Guild. Raised in Decatur, Georgia, Blount received a bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt and a master's degree from Harvard.

Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina is the host of the nationally-syndicated program “The Book Show,” on which she interviews every week some of the finest writers working today. She has appeared frequently on British television and radio documentaries. Some of her books include Mr. and Mrs. Prince (2009), A Room of Their Own (2008), The Annotated Secret Garden (2007), and Francis Hodgson Burnett (2006). Gretchen has a B.A. from Marlboro College, an M.A. from Simmons College, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. She has been a tenured professor at Vassar College and at Barnard College, Columbia University. She is now the Kathe Tappe Vernon Professor in Biography at Dartmouth College, where she is the first woman ever to chair the English department, and the first African American woman to chair an Ivy League English department.

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